Here’s What You Can Learn From Taylor Swift’s Viral Instagram Post

Political statements from brands are highly attractive to consumers–when done correctly. Here’s what I shared with Inc. Magazine

 

If you want to glimpse the future of retail, check out an Amazon Go store.

They’re sleek and modern, with a minimalist vibe. Black merchandise racks. Wood veneer. Polished concrete. Pop music plays softly in the background; cameras nestled in the ceiling monitor your every move as you wander the aisles.
“Big deal,” you may be thinking. “Sounds like Whole Foods.” True. But you won’t see a single cashier, cash register, or self-service checkout stand.
CNN

What’s in a Name Change? For Those Saying U.S.M.C.A., a Mouthful

President Trump has long wielded the word “Nafta” like an epithet, deriding the North American Free Trade Agreement as the worst trade deal in history.

So when he renamed it the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement — or U.S.M.C.A. — this week, he may have short-circuited attempts to criticize the new deal. Why? Because the name itself is really hard to say.

Even Mr. Trump, who bills himself as a master brander, appeared to grasp that U.S.M.C.A. was not as smooth as Nafta, saying on Monday that people would make use of the new term “99 percent” of the time. At an event in Philadelphia on Tuesday he poked fun at the name, arguing that it had to be changed because Nafta was so bad for the country.

“U.S.M.C.A. Like Y.M.C.A., or United States Marine Corps with an A at the end,” Mr. Trump said. “I like the way it sounded.”

He is largely alone. While reviews of the trade deal itself are still coming in, the name itself has gotten a resounding thumbs down.

Top Trump administration officials have stumbled over the agreement’s shorthand, which linguists say is tricky to verbalize because it is an initialism rather than an acronym, like Nafta, which slides off the lips like a word.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Tuesday, Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, made clear that he was still coming to terms with the new name while espousing its many virtues.

“The North American deal — the U.S.A. — uh, uh — got to get this right — U.S.A.M.C.?” Mr. Kudlow said.

Dean Crutchfield, a branding and marketing strategist in New York, said that since the name was officially being changed in the text, it would probably take hold, as long as the news media used it.

“I think the more people see it, the more they will get accustomed to it,” Mr. Crutchfield said.

The Future regarding Elon Musk

Should Elon stay or should he go? That is the question we discussed on CNBC Power Lunch. The issues facing Tesla are like a spreading sore. Trust has taken a major battering.

There is a dysfunctional dynamic at Tesla. Leadership is to help people develop beyond their dreams and hold their fears. Elon has been weighed, measured, and found wanting.

Shareholder value is not a strategy it’s a result. One thing is for sure the Tesla brand can be stretched beyond cars, trucks and lithium batteries. Other automakers cannot. Should Elon be running the day to day or should he be focusing on those bigger bets? Here’s the segment.

How do Retailers Differentiate and Build Reputation?

Was Build a Bear’s “Pay your age” a success? It certainly garnered substantial media Screen Shot 2018-07-30 at 9.11.43 AMcoverage. What can retailers be doing about standing out in the crowded market with marketing that’s sustainable?

Here are some thoughts I shared with China Global Television.

Eat This – How to Win at Retail

We all receive over 3000 images a day from logos, ads, signage, promotions, packaging along with a hoard of everything else we see online and off. But when you’re in a store you see over 300 commercial images within a rapid timescale that leads to 75% of purchasing decisions being made at shelf! From 28 blinks a minute, you go to 17 blinks a minute. A captured consumer! You’re focused, in the moment, editing the present. Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 9.13.42 AM

But online shopping sales continue to grow at an exponentially faster rate than in-store sales. 51% of Americans prefer to shop online so the old strategies of simply having a good location or putting up flyers or ads in your local newspaper aren’t going to cut it anymore. How do you get people to the store and why should they care. Here are 14 thoughts and examples.

  • Retailers need to break with stale gender stereotypes in their advertising. Demand that is largely driven by millennial and Gen Z consumers –  Stop n Shop’s new ad campaign is a great example
  • 50% of your store visitors may not have any deeper knowledge of or prior relationship with your brand. And you only get one chance at making a first impression
  • Target and cater for men – Kroger ​
  • Give Shoppers a Reason to Visit Your Store – H&M​
  • Sales Triggering Signage – Timberland
  • Instill a Sense of Urgency – Saksofffith.com
  • Check-Out Convenience – BestBuy
  • Don’t Forget to Be Locally Relevant – Nike Flagship stores
  • Celebrate All the Little Holidays
  • Get Creative with Video – Dollar Shave Club
  • Create Returning Buyers through Smart Remarketing
  • Use Social Media Targeting Capabilities to Your Advantage
  • Run Beautifully Executed Google Shopping Campaigns –
    Burberry
  • Invest in Some Guerilla Marketing Campaigns – McDonald’s
  • Try Podcast Advertising
    (70M Month)
  • Understand Your Seasonal Peaks and Plan Accordingly
#1: Run Beautifully Executed Google Shopping Campaigns

  • Google Shopping campaigns allow retail marketers to sell their products directly through the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)
  • Organize Shopping Campaigns by Best-Selling Items. Grouping together your best sellers will help you capitalize on online sales
  • Ensure Your Ad Images are High-Quality and Crawlable
  • Include Merchant Promotions and Product Reviews – add tags like a special offer

walmart tills

#2: Give Shoppers a Reason to Visit Your Store

  • Retail marketers desperate for more storefront traffic need to start giving their customers a reason to come in
  • The store stands out from its surroundings, catches the consumers’ eye and inspires them to cross the street and enter the store
  • By creating new window campaigns every few weeks, brands aim at generating regular visits from the window footfall
  • Perhaps you have a special in-store discount for shoppers. Lululemon is constantly convincing me to come by their stores with their free yoga classes
  • ​Brands like Superdry, Desigual or H&M prove regularly that luxury is not a precondition for standing out
  • If you don’t spend on any advertising, only your window is left to create in-store traffic. Inditex does so, and the result is strong product windows. Lacoste is an example to show that it doesn’t take fancy collections to create strong windows. Tommy Hilfiger is an example of aligning window campaigns with merchandise planning
# 3: Sales Triggering Signage:
  • 80% of the time consumers spend in a store, their eyes browse for the next anchor point
  • Impulse buys in brand retail represent the largest share of sales
  • Store signage consists of printed and digital aids that create brand and commercial messages
  • Signage is the store’s final add-on to make the visual merchandising work (‘the icing on the cake’). If executed well, signage creates brand experience and grows shoppers’ comfort in making a buy
  • Timberlands’ outlet signage is noteworthy
  • today’s visitors to the Ferrari store in Maranello are unlikely to remember the merchandise but will recall the story about Enzo Ferrari’s ashtray
#4: Check-Out Convenience
  • The cashier or check-out is the last stop on a consumer’s in-store journey.
  • Those last 10 minutes of a store experience hold great potential for building a relationship
  • Nike’s best practice retail check-out in particular. Think about the last time you shopped for footwear and recall the 15 minutes before being served with your size and color: a waste of time for in-and-out ‘need shoppers’ who already know what they want
  • Hema – Alibaba’s retail online payment apps and delivery in 30 minutes
Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 9.16.53 AM#5: Use Social Media Targeting Capabilities to Your Advantage

  • Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter make it absurdly easy to find and get in front of the people most likely to buy your products

#6 Target and cater to men

  • Grocers are rolling out sausage, beer stations to lure men
  • Hy-Vee and Kroger are stepping up their “male-centric amenities” — introducing gourmet sausage stations, “beer dens,” meat and beer pairing promotions, men’s facial care lines and more
  • Men also are more likely to purchase impulse items, so putting novelty products on display can lead to a higher ticket
#7: Don’t Forget to Be Locally Relevant
  • Geotargeting
  • 300+ retail and brand logos, VM messages within just 3 hrs of shopping
  • Ad copy and imagery
  • Local lingo
  • Commercial Flagship Retailing – Nike

#8: Invest in Some Guerilla Marketing Campaigns

  • Using public places to get the word out about your business
  • Grab the attention of the public outside of the internet. It will be far more memorable! McDonald’s

#9: Try Podcast Advertising

  • 67 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly

#10: Get Creative with Video

  • Some brands have made their products big through video. For instance, who could forget the Dollar Shave Club videos then went viral

#11: Celebrate All the Little Holidays

#12: Instill a Sense of UrgencyScreen Shot 2017-08-24 at 11.01.49 AM

  • When you instill urgency into your marketing messaging, your audience feels the pressure and is more likely to give in and make the purchase now

#13: Understand Your Seasonal Peaks and Plan Accordingly

  • This includes things like adjusting ad spend, working with design for new creative, and executing seasonally relevant campaigns that will boost sales during these peak times

#14: Create Returning Buyers through Smart Remarketing

  • Remarketing allows you to remind shoppers that they should buy your products

Why did Pepsi lose the Cola war?

Did you know that in the famous blind tastes back in the 80’s Pepsi in their core research and their iconic “Take the taste test” advertising campaigns Pepsiused 1-ounce cups and people preferred Pepsi over Coca-Cola? But in real life, people found 20 ounces of Pepsi to be too sweet and preferred Coke.

Lesson learned. Do your customer research.